This stunning atlas with original hand-color is Gerard Mercator and Jodocus Hondius’sLAtlas Ou Meditiations Cosmographiques De La Fabrique Du Monde et Figure Diceluy. Commence En Latin Par Le Tres Docte Gerard Mercator, Paracheve p[ar] Jodocus Hondius. Traduit En Francois Par Le Sieur [Henri Lancelot-Voisin] De La P[opliniere]. The work was published in Amsterdam by Jodocus Hondius in 1609. This is the first French text edition translated from Latin by Henri Lancelot-Voisin de la Popliniere.
The work was issued in five parts bound to two volumes. It features an engraved allegorical title page, double portrait engraving of Mercator & Hondius, and 146 engraved maps (all but one double page). The engravings are mounted on guards with full splendid original hand-color. They are bound in conteporary mottled calf over bevelled boards with hinges repaired.
This is one of the finest atlases from the golden age of cartography. After Mercator and his son, Rumold, passed, Hondius purchased his engravings and issued Mercator-Hondius atlases beginning in 1606. This would be the third of such atlases Hondius produced, where he supplemented 39 of his own maps to update discoveries mostly devoted to the Americas or parts of the world under represented from Mercator’s collection.
Gerard Mercator (1512-1594) is one of the most famous cartographers. He created the Mercator projection for maps which had all parallels and meridians drawn at right angles to each other. This proved exceptionally useful to sailors allowing them to much more easily navigate. Mercator also introduced the term of “atlas”, first used to describe his collection of maps gathered into one volume. Mercator is certainly best known for his maps and projections.
Jodocus Hondius (1563-1612) was a successful geographer and engraver. He helped establish Amsterdam as the epicenter of mapmaking in the 1600s.